Cities are source and drivers of growth and prosperity.
A large portion of people and economic assets and activities are in cities. A combination of people that are productive and assets and services that support these people make urbanization beneficial. However, if these fall out of sync, for example with more people and city infrastructure and services left behind, then urbanization becomes a source of problems – to the economy, to the health of the population, to services and infrastructure and even to the competitiveness of the city. In Indonesia, the World Bank (http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2016/06/14/indonesia-urban-story) has found that urbanization is happening faster than other Asian countries, projecting that by 2025, close to 70% of the county’s population will be living in cities. Urbanization in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has also increased greatly after the country’s shift in its development in the 1970s (Rukmana).
The city’s urbanization has been driven by the movement of the people from rural areas to the city, as well as the general population growth, and the city managers attempt at servicing these people. The population of Jakarta has doubled from 4.5 million in 1970 to more than 10 million in 2016. People are attracted to cities such as Jakarta by the availability of urban services such as jobs, housing, and education. However, the World Bank observed that the city’s infrastructure has not developed at the same pace, noting that “the country’s economy grew by an average of 5.8% in the mid to late 2000s, but infrastructure stock grew by only 3%.
In contrast, China invested 10% of GDP in its infrastructure over the past decade.” Jakarta had been able to handle 800,000 people when they were founded by the Dutch, but now it holds up to 12 million people during the work week (Rukmana). The result of this is the growth of slums without sufficient access to water and other services, as well as traffic congestion, increase in pollution, and growing unemployment. By 2020, the population of Jakarta is expected to grow 35 million (Rukmana), which will further worsen its existing problems. All, of these issues have one main cause; the city is unable to grow at the same pace as the growing population – urbanization is not a bad thing, as it is the engine of growth, where the GDP of the country is mainly created, however, the lack of ability to keep pace and ensure that its population is productive is the main problem. This essay will analyze challenges of living in the cities, such as traffic and access to transport and transportation issues, pollution, access to jobs and high unemployment rates, and lack of food due to overpopulation and how education and better planning can create possible sustainable solutions. This will allow the coverage of how and to what extent and examine critically overpopulation and urbanization and its effect in Jakarta with reasoning and evidence, as well as take the reader through the process of discovering why these solutions among other things, are the best solution to the issue, which was caused by urbanization which is the increase of rural-urban migration.
Unsustainable urbanization, as what is likely happening in cities like Jakarta, creates pressures of finding suitable places to live, where often the poor end up setting up shanties in public areas such as parks, riverbanks and beaches and eventually becoming slums. Other pressures created include strains on transport, health services and schools, electricity and water supply, and sanitation (Vaessen).For example, the public transport system in Jakarta has become known as one of the most chaotic, as people cram into buses and trains, and the ordinarily polite and ‘refined’ social behavior is abandoned as people simply cannot afford to cue among the mass of others. This is an example of the system being unable to cope.One sustainable solution for Jakarta could be education.From the point of view of the government education for the population will not only benefit the people and their living conditions but can also improve the economy and the city itself.
The purpose would be to better deal with the growth of the population in a way that can be beneficial to the people and the government as well.In 2014 Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto stated that overpopulation was a threat to the environment and that education was the solution. He states that “In order to stop overpopulation, we need to connect with our environment, we need to increase our economy and the number of job opportunities, and to do this we need to push and develop our education.”(Subianto) Should the education rate rise, the employment rate would also rise, creating more job opportunities. This could be a possible solution to some of the other issues such as food, water, and housing. By acknowledging the problem by dealing with the issue as is and working to improve the country and city with what is given instead of forcing people out, not only would the business and economy have an advantage, but the people will be more motivated for change.Another solution would be to have better policies in work in the city to better deal with the ever-growing population such as better urban planning, aligning social and physical infrastructure investments to the city’s growing population, making people productive. For example, increasing investments in access to safe water will decrease health problems.
Investments in improving transport systems will decrease traffic and pollution. Education and awareness raising can also help, especially for planners and decision makers, in addition to policy reforms that can encourage more investments in the necessary infrastructure to support people. Increase in population is one big driver for bad urbanization. However, people are assets for cities if given proper opportunities to contribute. Both the population and the government, working together should feel accountable to resolve the problems that cities like Jakarta face. The government should implement solutions to better deal with the growing population, and the people should support their government, by being better informed and being productive.
This investigation concludes that while overpopulation is one issue, how the issue is perceived, especially by people with power actually takes up most of what the issue is known to cause, as well as how on the part of the people, education can help as an educated population and workforce will improve the economy and employment rate in the city. However, while this investigation touches on how this issue and the issues caused by it can be worked on, actually getting the government and people in power to make a change is a challenge in itself and a necessary extension. For example, in Manila, over the last century, close to a dozen urban master plans have been developed and contemplated, but none implemented. This highlights the challenge of promoting good urban growth.
It is not an easy task to undertake.Therefore, education, and enforcing productive policies are the most sustainable solutions to the issue of mishandled urbanization and overpopulation in Jakarta.